Cognitive Sociology and the Study of Human Cognition: A critical point

I base my paper on review of leading texts from the field of cognitive sociology with the attempt to compare the implicit notion of cognition with the conceptions elaborated in the field of cognitive science and allied disciplines (e.g. cognitive psychology, cognitive anthropology, cognitive science of religion, cognitive archeology etc.). I will refer mainly to Cerulo, DiMaggio, Vaughan, Wakefield and Zerubavel. The exemplar issues will be presented in the course of four steps. First, I problematize the notion of cognition limited merely to habituated behavioral forms related to specific local situations as presented in a study by Vaughan. Second, I discuss the excessive focus on local structures of meaning that are conceived as one of the goals of sociology of mind presented by Zerubavel. I point out the problematic position of sociology of mind, since it draws a substantial focus on intersubjectivity defined in contrast to cognitive individualism and universalism. I present this methodological stance in relation to interpretative program of social sciences. Consequently, I show that this type of cognitive theorizing casts vital doubts on results emerging from the field itself as well as on cross-disciplinary relevancy of that investigation. Viable forms of collaboration between cultural theorizing based on interpretative and descriptive methods and cognitive science will be explained throughout the paper as well as in its final conclusion.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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